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Doctor of Pharmacy

The Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree is one of the required qualifications necessary to become a registered pharmacist. Students obtaining a PharmD degree will take courses in anatomy, biology and chemistry, among others, to develop an in-depth understanding of drugs and their affect on the body. Graduates of a PharmD program work in the health care industry, in conjunction with physicians and registered nurses, to provide drug therapy that improves patient’s quality of life. Generally, PharmD programs take 4 years to complete, and students can then specialize in a particular field for an additional 1-2 years if they wish.

University Degree Offerings

  • University of Florida Working Professional Doctor of Pharmacy

    The University of Florida Working Professional Doctor of Pharmacy program provides a unique educational experience, combining the best in experiential learning in an online environment under the direction of a world class faculty. Our program exposes students to the pharmaceutical, administrative, social, behavioral and clinical sciences aspects of this filed. Students develop clinical and patient-care skills – both are integrated throughout the course work.


Pharmacists take ultimate responsibility for filling prescriptions, and in the process they dispense medications, counsel patients on usage, and provide feedback to doctors. Along with these greater responsibilities comes a higher educational standard. Pharmacists are required to have a Pharm.D. degree from an accredited school. Two-to-four years of prior college experience is considered a prerequisite for acceptance into a Pharm.D. program.

Why a Doctor of Pharmacy Degree

  • A PharmD degree is required to become a pharmacist
  • Pharmacists make a positive difference in peoples lives, dispersing medication, counseling patients on the safe use of prescription drugs, and advising patients on general health matters
  • A PharmD degree prepares you to dispense medication and gives you the necessary knowledge to help prevent potentially dangerous drug interactions
  • Graduates with PharmD degrees have a wide array of job opportunities, from hospitals to private pharmacies.
  • Students with a PharmD degree have the potential for advancement, from pharmacist to pharmacy managers, hospital administrators or even researchers or corporate executives in pharmaceutical companies
  • The median expected salary for a pharmacist in the United States is over $100,000

Doctor of Pharmacy Courses & Areas of Study

The specific requirements to obtain a PharmD degree differ depending on the specialty and the program you select. The courses listed below are classes you can expect to encounter in earning this degree. Please consult your specific course curriculum for a detailed listing of course requirements and credit hours.

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Care
  • Pathophysiology

Doctor of Pharmacy Career Opportunities

Students who earn a PharmD degree have a wide range of options available within the health care field. Below is a list of potential positions a student with PharmD degree would be qualified for. This list is not comprehensive and should serve only as a guide to potential opportunities.

  • Clinical pharmacist
  • Staff pharmacist
  • Regional pharmacy director
  • Pharmacy Supervisor
  • Hospital Pharmacist
  • Hospital Administration
  • Researcher

Online Doctor of Pharmacy Degrees

While specific online program requirements vary, students are required to gain practical experience. Most programs require introductory practice and practice working with patients in the form of an internship and/or community service. A rotation period may also be required, in which students work with experienced doctors and pharmacists in a community pharmacy or hospital setting, dispensing drugs and engaging in pharmacy management activities. Depending on the program, these internships and rotations can take anywhere from 16 weeks to six months. In addition to the academic requirements set forth by the school programs, each state requires pharmacists to be licensed and to take a state-licensing exam.

Doctor of Pharmacy Education & Admissions Requirements

While program requirements do vary, nearly all programs require a Bachelors degree and/or 2 years of post-secondary education. In addition many schools require a minimum number of credit hours in specific areas including anatomy, physiology, calculus, economics, biology, chemistry, and physics. Many programs require a minimum GPA and several letters of recommendation. Admissions committees may also consider previous work experience and volunteer experience. Finally, approximately 70% of PharmD programs require applicants to take the Pharmacy College Admissions Test. Since requirements vary by institution, you should consult with an admissions counselor and/or review the specific requirements of the school you wish to attend.

Doctor of Pharmacy Accreditation

The Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education is the national accrediting agency for PharmD schools. A degree from an accredited school is required to take the state licensing exams necessary to work as a pharmacist.

Top Ranked Pharmacy Degrees

Earning a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from one of the few top-ranked institutions offering it only adds more credibility to the degree, as the school must meet rigorous standards. Distinguished institutions with the Doctor of Pharmacy degree programs also receive high ranks by such organizations as U.S. News & World Report, the Wall Street Journal, and Kiplinger’s.

Pharmacy Professional Organizations

There are a large number of professional pharmacist organizations that are a great resource and a wealth of information.

  • American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy
  • American Society of Health-System Pharmacists
  • Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy
  • American Pharmacists Association